Print 24 comment(s) - last by lemonadesoda.. on Mar 27 at 8:17 PM

1TB of of solid state storage on a 4Gbit fiber-channel connection

Just recently, we reported that Intel plans to integrated solid-state NAND flash technology into its next generation mobile platform dubbed Santa Rosa. In fact, after Santa Rosa, Intel will introduce a technology called Snowgrass, which will introduce NAND flash into the desktop segment. All of Intel's NAND platforms will be occuring in 2007.

A company called Texas Memory Systems has announced the largest solid state array with a staggering capacity of 1TB (other configurations exist). Called Tera-RamSan, the rack consists of an array of 9U servers connected together via 4Gbit fiber-channel. The Tera-RamSan is configured to act as a NAS device, linking directly to an Ethernet connection, or connect to an existing fiber-channel array.

Quick specifications:
  • Up to 1TB of storage
  • 3.2+ million I/O per second
  • 24GB/sec bandwidth
  • Less than 14 microseconds average access time
  • Includes integrated hard drives for backup
  • 4Gbit fiber-channel connection (2Gbit capable)
  • Supports point-to-point, arbitrated loop, and switched fabric topologies
  • Individual units configurable in RAID array
The Tera-RamSan comes equipped to handle complete blackouts with the use of internal hard drives matched to the capacity of the memory modules. During a power outage, the unit will copy the entire contents of its memory onto disk before shutting down approximately 1 hour after losing power. Since the Tera-RamSan uses DRAM rather than NAND-based memory, a battery-disk-based backup solution is necessary. As of currently, flash-based RAM is not quite fast enough for the applications for which the Tera-RamSan was designed for.

Unfortunately, all that DRAM requires 3.2kW during peak operation.  More information on the Tera-RamSan can be found here.  Don't expect to bring a few home any time soon unfortunately -- the average 1TB configuration costs in excess of $1M USD. 

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3.2Kw peak?!
By Xenoterranos on 3/19/2006 7:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you figure that it's only going to reach that 3.2 rarely and guestimate that normal power consumption is, say, 30% of that, then that equates to 8760 hours in a year times 8.6 cents per kwHr (average US power cost, 2001, s-a-kilowatt-hou...)
times 1KwHr (.96) then my guess for cost of operation per year is $8,760...thats a massive power bill!

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By Xenoterranos on 3/19/2006 7:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry , missed the specs a bit, looks like normal power useage is 2.5kwr, so that's $21,900 a year at their stated power consumption, at 2001 national power cost average

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By lemonadesoda on 3/19/2006 9:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Your math is aweful!!!! Didn't you reality check your calculation?! Your PC probably has a 350W+ powersupply, and consumes between 150W and 300W depending on what you are doing.

This is 10% of the power needed for Tera-RamSan. According to your calculation YOU would spend $2,190 on your power bill if you kept your PC on 24/7/52!

Come on!

Remember 3 bright light bulbs 100W each would cost you $2,190 per year if you left them on?
Come on!

Do the math again: 2500W / 1000 x 8760hrs x 0.0862c = $1,888

ie, if you left those lights on, or your PC on 24/7/52, it would cost you approx $188 per year. Now that makes more sense.

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By hans007 on 3/20/2006 7:17:51 AM , Rating: 2
seeing as this tera ramsan is expected to be AT load at all times and is only a storage device, calculations for it being at say 75% of peak power load all the time are probably ok.

a PC on the other hand even if you had the cpu at load 100% of that time would NEVER get to 100% use as it is NOT a storage device. hard drives wouldnt be spinning, cdroms etc.

that said, a PC .

also this has to be all ram. FLASH (nand) is too slow, and the flash ram has a limited amount of writes.

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By masher2 on 3/20/2006 8:49:17 AM , Rating: 2
The point isn't peak consumption figures, it's that he simply did the math wrong.

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By stephenbrooks on 3/20/2006 3:02:09 PM , Rating: 2
ie, if you left those lights on, or your PC on 24/7/52, it would cost you approx $188 per year. Now that makes more sense.

Yeah, but there weren't PCs in July 1952.

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By lemonadesoda on 3/27/2006 8:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
comedy nutcase

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By Lifted on 3/21/2006 3:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
>> so that's $21,900 a year

Hah, that made me giggle. If a 20 amp draw runs you that much, the typical house would use what, $100k/year in electricity? I have to buy some ConEd stock pronto!

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By Yames on 3/20/2006 1:15:25 PM , Rating: 2
I wish my electricity was still areound 9.6 cents Kw/Hr

RE: 3.2Kw peak?!
By Jedi2155 on 3/22/2006 4:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
I live in SoCal and mines still around there :-D.

This is insane
By Hypernova on 3/18/2006 11:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
No budget conscience company (which should be every one) is gonna buys this, the cost/profit ratio just doesn't justify the $1,000,000.

RE: This is insane
By KristopherKubicki on 3/18/2006 11:57:44 PM , Rating: 4
Google uses solid state devices like this.

RE: This is insane
By Hypernova on 3/19/2006 1:00:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's because they are rich and search engines need it. In a normal coperate enviroment it way beyond overkill. Shave the $$ to 0.3~.4M is more reasonable.

Does any bank use stuff like this?

RE: This is insane
By Furen on 3/19/2006 1:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
Like everything out there, it has its uses. Search engines can use it pretty effectively, so there is a market.

RE: This is insane
By redog on 3/19/2006 10:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
This is the top of thier equipment scale. They do sell smaller products.

Eve-Online has bought a couple of ramsan-400's for thier database backend and the improvement was off the charts from ther reports they gave at thier fanfest.

It worked so well, that ontop of thier server upgrades, they are going to get another one.

By Jasonn on 3/18/2006 10:30:37 PM , Rating: 5
$1,000,000 USD! Is that before or after rebates?

RE: Rebates?
By TheLiberalTruth on 3/20/2006 3:37:51 PM , Rating: 3
And then you have the electricity costs, too. 3.2kW during peak operation?! Assuming that someone who would buy this thing would be using it all the time (it would make sense that someone who spends 1,000,000 USD on storage probably needs it), you're looking at over 2,000 kW/h - almost 200 USD a month in electricity for the stupid thing. Oy vey.

Nano seconds?
By Regs on 3/18/2006 11:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Solid State would offer nanosecond access times. I guess it's a growing technology.

RE: Nano seconds?
By Furen on 3/19/2006 1:27:10 AM , Rating: 4
A single chip may give you nano-second access times but once you make a huge array of them there has to be arbitration logic which, in turn, adds latency, as do the different data transports, since there normally is encoding and decoding involved. 14 microseconds is 1000 times better than 14ms harddrives. Of course there's faster ram (175x faster if assume access times of 80ns) but these are normally with a much smaller data array.

Fix please
By Viditor on 3/18/2006 10:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
Since the Tera-RamSan does not uses DRAM rather than NAND-based memory

Kind of unclear what you mean here...I assume you mean "Since the Tera-RamSan uses DRAM rather than NAND-based memory".

RE: Fix please
By KristopherKubicki on 3/18/2006 10:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry - fixed.

By Howard on 3/18/06, Rating: 0
RE: typo
By CheesePoofs on 3/18/2006 10:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone understands what was meant.

By stephenbrooks on 3/20/2006 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
the average 1TB configuration costs in excess of $1M USD.

Do I see a new minimum spec for Microsoft Vista on the horizon? spx?newsid=1158

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